Power 5 programs playing at Group of 5 venues in 2023

By Amy Daughters -

Of the approximately 1,570 games on tap for the 133 programs competing at the FBS level in 2023, a mere 20 feature a Power 5 member visiting a Group of 5 venue.

While that’s only 1.5 percent of the total games on offer this season, it’s a scheduling practice that is becoming more and more normalized in the upper echelon of college football. Not only is it up two full contests from the 18 such games played last year, but it’s also a common component of many P5 clubs’ future schedules.

What follows are the ten P5 at G5 combinations with the widest gap in seating capacity, each an extreme case of stadium downsizing.

(10). KANSAS at NEVADASaturday, Sept. 16

Seating capacity difference: 20,233

David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium seats 47,233 vs. Nevada’s Mackay Stadium’s capacity of 27,000. The Jayhawks visited a Group of 5 venue as recently as last season when they traveled to Houston (in its final season as an AAC member) and won 48-30. They have dates booked to visit both Hawaii and Louisiana Tech in 2028 as well as Fresno State in 2030.

Nevada last hosted a Power 5 member in the 2019 season opener, scoring a 34-31 upset win over Purdue. At present the Wolfpack doesn’t have any future plans to welcome another P5 opponent to Reno.

This is Kansas and Nevada’s first-ever football meeting, they have plans to play again in 2029 in Lawrence.

(9). VIRGINIA TECH at MARSHALLSaturday, Sept. 23

Seating capacity difference: 27,405

Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium is a 65,632-seat facility vs. Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards Stadium which maxes out at 38,227. The Hokies played a roadie at a G5 school as recently as 2022 when they opened their season at Old Dominion with a 20-17 loss. VT has plans to visit ODU again in 2027 and 2029 and has a roadie booked at Liberty for 2030.

Marshall hasn’t hosted a P5 club since 2018 when NC State rolled into town and scored a 37-20 win. It last won such a game in the 2015 season opener, a 41-31 victory over Purdue. The Herd don’t currently have any other home dates scheduled vs. P5 opponents.

Virginia Tech and Marshall have met 13 times previously, most recently in 2018 in Blacksburg. The Hokies have won nine-straight, Marshall’s only two wins in the series came back-to-back in 1939-40 at home. The two will meet again next season at Virginia Tech.

(8). TEXAS TECH at WYOMINGSaturday, Sept. 2

Seating capacity difference: 30,263

Texas Tech’s Jones AT&T Stadium holds 60,454 fans vs. Wyoming’s War Memorial Stadium’s 30,181. Though the Red Raiders played an away game against a G5 club as recently as 2021 when they met Houston at NRG Stadium, they haven’t played a true roadie at a G5 venue since 2017 when they visited the same Cougars, this time on their home turf, and won 27-24. Tech has plans to play at Colorado State in 2025, at North Texas in 2027, at Fresno State in 2029, and at UTEP in 2032.

Wyoming last hosted a P5 program in its 2019 season opener, scoring a 37-31 upset win over Missouri as 16-point underdogs. The Cowboys will host BYU in 2024, Utah in 2025, Cal in 2029, and Arizona in 2033.

Texas Tech and Wyoming have met five times previously but not since 1992. The Cowboys hold a 3-2 all-time advantage, but the Red Raiders won the last meeting 49-32 at home. The two will meet again in 2028 in Lubbock.

(7). CAL at NORTH TEXASSaturday, Sept. 2

Seating capacity difference: 31,617

Cal Memorial Stadium seats 62,457 vs. North Texas’ Apogee Stadium’s capacity of 30,850. The Golden Bears haven’t visited a G5 destination since 2016 when they made the trek south to San Diego State and lost 45-40. They haven’t won at a G5 venue since a 2007 victory at Colorado State. They currently have dates booked at San Diego State in 2025 and at Wyoming in 2029.

North Texas hasn’t welcomed a P5 member since the 2010 regular-season finale, a 49-41 loss vs. K-State. It hasn’t won such a game since 2003 when it blasted Baylor 52-14 in Denton. The Mean Green have home dates booked vs. Texas Tech in 2027, Baylor in 2029, Missouri in 2030, and Colorado in 2033.

Cal and North Texas have only met once previously, in 2019, a 23-17 home win for the Golden Bears.

(6). OLE MISS at TULANESaturday, Sept. 9

Seating capacity difference: 34,038

Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium holds 64,038 fans vs. Tulane’s Yulman Stadium’s capacity of 30,000. The Rebels last visited a G5 destination in 2019 when they opened the season with a 15-10 loss at Memphis. They haven’t won a true G5 roadie since 2010 when they visited – ironically – Tulane and scored a 27-13 victory. Ole Miss has plans to visit Charlotte in 2026, UConn in 2027, and South Alabama in 2029.

Tulane hasn’t hosted a P5 club since the 2018 season opener when it suffered a 23-17 loss vs. Wake Forest. It hasn’t beaten a P5 opponent at home since 2003, a 31-28 win over Mississippi State. The Green Wave will welcome K-State to New Orleans in 2024, Northwestern and Duke in 2025, Iowa State in 2029, and Mississippi State in 2032.

Ole Miss and Tulane have met 70 times previously (they shared membership in the SEC from 1933-65), the Rebels lead 44-28 and have won 12-straight. The Waves’ last wins came back-to-back in 1987-88, one at home and one in Oxford.

(5). ALABAMA at USFSaturday, Sept. 16

Seating capacity difference: 34,459

Alabama’s massive Bryant-Denny Stadium holds 100,077 vs. USF’s home field’s (Raymond James Stadium, which it shares with the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers) 65,618 seats. The Crimson Tide haven’t made a road trip to a G5 venue since 2003 when they made the trek to Hawaii to close out the regular season and lost 37-29. Their last win at a G5 opponent came the year before, in 2002, when they won 21-16 in Honolulu. Alabama doesn’t have any future plans to visit another G5 school.

Though South Florida hosted a club considered a Power grade opponent as recently as last season when it opened with a 50-21 home loss vs. then (25) BYU, it hasn’t welcomed a team that was a P5 member at game time since 2021 when it got zapped 42-20 by (13) Florida. It hasn’t beaten a P5 club in Tampa since 2018 when it bested Georgia Tech 49-38. The Bulls also host Miami Fla. this season and then have visits planned from Louisville in 2027 and NC State and Notre Dame in 2029.

Alabama and USF have met once previously, a 40-17 win for the Tide in Birmingham.

(4). IOWA STATE at OHIOSaturday, Sept. 16

Seating capacity difference: 34,500

Iowa State’s Jack Trice Stadium seats 61,500 vs. Ohio’s 27,000-seat Peden Stadium. The Cyclones traveled to a G5 destination as recently as 2021 when they rolled into Vegas and walloped UNLV 48-3. ISU has future dates booked at Arkansas State in 2025, at Bowling Green in 2027, and at Tulane in 2029.

Ohio hosted a P5 opponent two years ago, in 2021, when it opened with a 29-9 home loss to Syracuse. The Bobcats last won such a game in 2017 when they hosted Kansas and scored a 42-30 win. OU has plans to welcome West Virginia in 2025 and Cincinnati in 2026.

Iowa State and Ohio have met eight times previously with the Cyclones winning on every occasion. All but one of the games – the 2001 contest – were played in Ames.

(3). STANFORD at HAWAIIFriday, Sept. 1

Seating capacity difference: 35,424

Stanford Stadium holds 50,424, leaps and bounds more than Hawaii’s temporary home’s (Ching Complex, as the new Aloha Stadium won’t be ready until 2028) max capacity of 15,000. The Cardinal last played at a G5 destination in 2019, a road trip to then (17) UCF that resulted in a 45-27 loss. It hasn’t won such a game since 2013 when it beat Army 34-20 at West Point. Stanford has plans to visit San Jose State in both 2025 and 2035.

Hawaii also opened last season with a visit from a P5 friend, falling 63-10 to Vanderbilt. It hasn’t won a home game vs. a P5 opponent since 2019 when it kicked off its campaign with back-to-back wins over Arizona (45-38) and Oregon State (31-28). The Warriors have future home dates booked with Oregon and UCLA in 2024, Stanford again in 2025, UCLA again in 2027, Kansas in 2028, and Arizona in 2029.

Stanford and Hawaii have met three times previously but not since 1972. All three games were played in Honolulu (including the 1949/50 Pineapple Bowl) with the Cardinal winning on every occasion. The two have future dates booked in 2025/26 and 2030.

(2). UCLA at SAN DIEGO STATESaturday, Sept. 9

Seating capacity difference: 53,565

The Rose Bowl’s capacity of 88,565 dwarves San Diego State’s 35,000-seat Snapdragon Stadium. UCLA visited a G5 opponent as recently as 2019, falling 24-14 at Cincinnati in the season opener. Its last win in a G5 roadie came in 2015, a 37-3 victory at UNLV. The Bruins have plans to play at Fresno State in 2024, at UNLV in 2025, at Hawaii in 2026, and back at San Diego State in 2031.

SDSU opened last season with a visit from Arizona, resulting in a 38-20 loss. It last beat a P5 club at home in 2021 when Utah came to town and suffered a 33-31 defeat. The Aztecs are set to host Washington State in 2024, Cal in 2025, Oregon State in 2026, Missouri in 2027 and 2033, Arizona State in 2028, Oklahoma in 2029, and UCLA again in 2031.

UCLA and SDSU have met 24 times previously, the Aztec’s 23-14 win in the most recent meeting (2019) in Pasadena was also their only victory in series history. The only other non-win for the Bruins came via a 13-13 tie in San Diego in 1924. The two will meet again at UCLA in 2026.

(1). OKLAHOMA at TULSASaturday, Sept. 16  

Seating capacity difference: 56,112

Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium seats a whopping 86,112, almost three times more than Tulsa’s 30,000-seat H.A. Chapman Stadium. Oklahoma last visited a G5 venue in 2014, scoring a 52-7 win at, surprise-surprise, Tulsa. The Sooners have plans to call on Temple in 2025, SMU in 2027, and San Diego State in 2029.

Tulsa hosted a P5 program as recently as 2019 when it welcomed Oklahoma State and lost 40-21. It hasn’t beaten a P5 club at home since 1998 when the same Cowboy program rolled into town and got bested 35-20. The Golden Hurricane has future home dates booked with Oklahoma State in 2024/28/30 and Arkansas in 2027.

Oklahoma and Tulsa have played 28 times previously, the Sooners hold a 20-7-1 advantage and have won nine-straight. The Golden Hurricane’s last win came in 1996 in Norman. They haven’t scored a home win over OU since 1942. The two have plans to meet again at Oklahoma in 2030/33.

Historical data courtesy of Sports Reference/College Football.

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Comments (3)

In the day of $$$$$ at all costs it is nice to see these P5 teams go to G5 schools once in a while. Gives the semblance of not being NFL lite. Could be wrong but it seems as though E Carolina and Fresno State seem to get P5 teams more often than others.

Once USF moves into its on-campus stadium in 2026 and hosts P5 teams there, the capacity difference will likely be even bigger for the Bulls…at least before expansions are needed.